AOSCA Honors MCIA with Three Awards

Roger Wippler, Fawad Shah, and Jody Prudhomme holding, respectively, Hon- orary Member, Excellence in Innovation, and Certificate of Service awards. Photo: MCIA.

At AOSCA’s 2023 Annual Meeting, held in Bloomington, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association was recognized in a big way. AOSCA established a new award to recognize its members for their service in the seed certification space. One of the inaugural recipients of that award is MCIA’s very own Administrative and Certification Manager Jody Prudhomme. She was awarded a Certificate of Service, “in recognition of twenty-five years of dedicated service, loyalty, and commitment to AOSCA and the seed industry.” Jody’s knowledge, experience, and ability to work with colleagues and clients is exemplary. She has a great track record for ensuring the integrity of seed certification standards across the board, for all crops certified by MCIA.

In addition, AOSCA established the Excellence in Innovation Award. The criteria for consideration included, a) Use a novel approach to meet a challenge in the seed industry, b) Develop a unique way to enhance an AOSCA program, c) Implement a new technique with an AOSCA Program, and d) Foster growth of seed certification or a related program. MCIA is the first recipient of this prestigious award. The recognition is a testament to MCIA’s diverse array of seed certification and third-party inspection and audit services, as well as its Capacity Building Initiative, which educates and trains seed professionals in other nations. MCIA staff also teach an undergraduate class through the University of Minnesota’s Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. No other agency offers such formal education.

Furthermore, AOSCA recognized MCIA Foundation Seed Services Manager Roger Wippler with its Honorary Member award. Roger’s whole family joined him upon the receipt of this award, which was a complete surprise to him. About four years ago, Roger’s spouse and then MCIA General Manager, Cindy Wippler, was recognized as an AOSCA Honorary Member for her service to seed certifying agencies, a first in the history of AOSCA for a woman. With nearly seven decades of dedicated service to seed certification between them, Cindy and Roger Wippler truly deserve the recognition.

Besides the honor and joy of hosting the event, these awards made this year’s AOSCA Annual Meeting the most memorable in the history of MCIA.

Chairman’s View

Photo by 12019 from Pixabay.

By Brad Barth, Board Chairman

Hello from Northern Minnesota!

Every year we seem to be surprised by the weather and how it acts. So far, this year is no exception. Northern Minnesota had quite a bit of snow last winter and we thought it would be a terrible late and wet, sloppy spring.

But once again mother nature has proven us wrong. The temps went from 30 degrees to 60s and 70s so fast that we barely had time to take off our jackets. The snow melted fast, and the runoff was gone seemingly overnight. All-in-all, the crops in northern Minnesota went into the ground nicely and almost timely. There are the typical pockets of “too dry” and areas of “too wet,” but on average it is starting out to be a good year.

Whatever the weather in your part  of the state just wait a little bit and it will change—right?

After a successful spring seeding and a nice timely rain or two, my bride and I took a little trip to Kansas to pick up a piece of equipment. It is always fun to travel a little and see agriculture in areas other than our own. To me, it does not matter what state it is, a field green with a new crop and a farmyard as a backdrop is always a beautiful sight.

On the way back from our little Kansas adventure we stopped in the Twin Cities to spend a couple of days at the annual Association of Official Seed Certifying Agency’s (AOSCA) meeting in Bloomington. This meeting comprises all the crop certifying agencies from throughout the US and is held in a different state each year. This year happened to be Minnesota’s turn. As the hosting state agency, MCIA cooperated with the AOSCA staff to select a hotel venue, obtain meeting sponsors, and suggest speakers and activities, among a host of other details.

I spent a part of two days at this meeting, and I must say that our team at MCIA did a phenomenal job of putting this together. As the board chairman, my job was to mingle and visit with as many attendees as possible, which is a job well suited for a jabber jaw like me. I will not go into detail as I am sure it will be covered elsewhere on this blog. Suffice it to say that the speakers were excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed their presentations.

My heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors and to all the volunteers from the MCIA staff for their work to put together and execute this fantastic meeting. I will again leave it to others to report on the awards presented, but I just wanted to make a point of saying that I was super proud to see MCIA and the staff be recognized for their great efforts.